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Lee Ah Mooi care workers housed at Ascott properties after being evicted by landlords over COVID-19 fears

Lee Ah Mooi care workers housed at Ascott properties after being evicted by landlords over COVID-19 fears

A sign at the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home, which is closed to visitors until Apr 30 after several cases of COVID-19 were detected there. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Twelve employees of the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home who were evicted by their landlords are now staying at Ascott properties in Singapore.

On Apr 10, the nursing home said that some of its employees had been asked to leave by their landlords who were worried about getting infected by the coronavirus. 

There have been several cases of COVID-19 at the home and two of its elderly residents have died from complications due to the disease.

CapitaLand Hope Foundation and the Agency for Integrated Care, along with Ascott, have provided complimentary accommodation for the care workers, Ascott said on Monday (Apr 20).

READ: Some staff members at Lee Ah Mooi evicted by landlords, says nursing home hit by COVID-19

Since last Monday, 12 care staff from the home have been staying at Ascott’s serviced residences and hotels.

"We were at a loss when our landlords expressed their concerns, leaving us to find alternative accommodation overnight," said senior staff nurse Sandar Swe. 

"I hope that the community comes together in solidarity to get through this together. Thank you for providing us shelter in this difficult time."

Mr Then Kim Yuan, Lee Ah Mooi's administrator, said that the challenges faced by the healthcare workers at home may go unnoticed even as they risk their lives to care for seniors and patients.

"We come together in solidarity to support our frontline heroes who not only risk their lives, but also prioritise the comfort and welfare of their seniors and patients every single day," said Mr Then. "CapitaLand has certainly helped allay their anxiety and uplift their morale."

READ: Away from family to defend the skies - Some RSAF crew live on base as part of COVID-19 adjustments

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The home said in an update on its Facebook page on Friday that its nursing team, which was put on quarantine, has returned to duty. All of them have tested negative for COVID-19.

"It's heartwarming to see our residents' faces light up to see familiar faces. While it is a joyous reunion, we also acknowledge that the situation remains tough," said Mr Then. "There were tears shed in memory of our two residents that have passed and everyone is still coming to terms with how this could have happened."

Ascott said that when travel restrictions were introduced, many returning Singaporeans also stayed at their properties while serving out their stay-home notices.

The company has stepped up to support various countries’ national efforts to combat COVID-19, said Ascott CEO Kevin Goh.

“In these unprecedented times, COVID-19 has changed the way the world lives tremendously. For Ascott, we must be nimble to adapt to this evolving pandemic," he said.

CapitaLand Hope Foundation is the philantrophic arm of CapitaLand, Ascott's parent company.

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Source: CNA/hm(hs)

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